RPS Solutions LLC, a firm recognized for its dedication to improving homeownership rates among Americans, recently listed a new property located at 5513 Beaumont Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143. According to Kevin Seawright, Founder at RPS Solutions LLC, “the goal for 5513 Beaumont is to give an inner-city family the option for quality homeownership.”
About RPS Solutions LLC
RPS Solutions LLC was founded in 2015 by Kevin Seawright. After witnessing his communities struggle with homeownership, Seawright wanted to find a solution to provide affordable housing to those around him. He believed that affordable housing and supportive programs improve residents’ economic status and transform neighborhoods and stabilize lives. From this, he developed RPS Solutions LLC with the vision to create a more diverse society where homeownership is achieved and communities are healthy, ultimately providing an avenue for all individuals to develop their full potential.
Today, the company offers various services, including real estate development, asset management, acquisition services, governmental contracting, and sale of assets.
About Kevin Seawright
Born and raised in Southwest Philadelphia, Kevin Seawright has always been a visionary. His years of experience in both the private and public sectors had been influential to his decision when founding RPS Solutions LLC.
Before RPS Solutions LLC, Seawright built an impressive resume, including 15-years of experience managing all levels of multiple projects, including budgeting and administration. From 2001 to 2011, Seawright worked in Baltimore. During his tenure, he held positions including Chief Financial Officer for the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Department, Payroll Director and Managing Fiscal Officer for the City of Baltimore, and VP/Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Operating Officer/Facilities Director/Property Director for the Baltimore City Government. In 2011 Seawright transitioned out of public work to a Vice President of Operations position for Tito Contractors, Inc. He maintained that role until 2014 when he accepted the Executive Vice President’s position at Newark Community Economic Development Corporation. Finally, in 2015, Seawright stepped away and founded his own company, RPS Solutions LLC.
Seawright earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Almeda University and his Executive Leadership Certificate from Notre Dame University, Mendoza School of Business.
5513 Beaumont Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
RPS Solutions LLC’s most recent listing is a townhome located near the corner of Beaumont Avenue and South 55th Street.
Listed at $174,900, this 1,160 square-foot 3-story colonial-inspired townhome, constructed in 1925 and consisting of 3-bedrooms and 1.5-baths, was recently renovated by RPS Solutions LLC. The home is boasted for its upgraded interior and premier location:
“Fantastic opportunity to get in on the front end of this Southwest Philly revitalization at an amazing price! Chic modern city living at it’s finest. This three-bedroom, one and a half bath townhome features a spacious open concept main level perfect for any occasion. The kitchen boasts white cushion close cabinets adorned with granite countertops all accented by stainless steel appliances. Crown moldings, recessed lighting, and tile mosaics are just a few of the details that make this home a charmer. Just minutes from UPenn, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, and the museum district, commuting with be a breeze. This home is a gem sure to put a twinkle in more than one eye.”
This project is close to Seawright’s heart. Not only is the property listed in the city where Seawright and his brothers were born and raised, but additionally, Seawright is working directly with his brothers, Kendall and Derrick, on the project alongside MCK Construction.
Kendall and Derrick are both parts of the RPS Solutions team. However, they also have their own ventures on the side. Kendall works for Saint Joseph University, while Derrick and his wife own a photography company. All three brothers felt compelled to come together to work on 5513 Beaumont. They joined with one goal in mind: To give back to the community they came from. After growing up in the town and witnessing an ongoing lack of homeownership in the community, the brothers are now working together to change the trajectory of the residents of Philadelphia.
In response to what it meant to be able to work with his brothers, Seawright disclosed, “Working with my brothers [is] extremely rewarding. Our first major redevelopment in our neighborhood [was] great. We have made a quality home less than a quarter-mile for the block we were raised on. Our goal is to continue to work in the neighborhood and create more housing opportunities for inner-city families and push for a vibrant, sustainable neighborhood.”
The home was originally purchased on July 8, 2020. Today, the property is under contract with a first-time homebuyer – A single-man from Philadelphia.
Regarding projects in the future, Seawright reported, “My mission with my brothers is to consistently give back to the neighborhoods that molded us. Thankfully we had two prayerful and strong parents who led us to success no matter our inner-city obstacles. We were taught to be strong, humble, and giving individuals. Our goal in housing is to help parents be able to give their children the same options that we were given for success.”
The Beaumont property is the team’s newest listing as they continue their efforts to economic improvement in low-income areas.
Overing Economic Barriers in Inner-City Communities
According to a Pew Research study released on September 10, 2020, Philadelphia is one of the inner-city communities suffering from being cost-burden.
The research looked at the homeownership rate and factors contributing to the declining quality of ownership in cities such as Philadelphia. According to the study, “about 231,000 Philadelphia households—or about 529,000 people—were cost-burdened in 2018, the last year for which data was available. In that year, 40% of the city’s households were cost-burdened, a figure that is in line with many other major cities. Surprisingly, perhaps, that rate has fallen slightly in Philadelphia in the past decade—it was 43% in 2009—largely due to an increase in the number of high-income households, for which cost burden tends to be low.” Cost burden, as “defined by the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development… occurs when a household spends 30% or more of its income on housing costs, including rent, mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and property taxes.” The findings identified that:
- 69 percent of cost-burdened Philadelphia households have incomes below $30,000 per year… [while only] 12% have incomes of $50,000 or more. This pattern is quite different from other places. More than a quarter of all cost-burdened households earn at least $50,000 per year in New York and many West Coast cities.
- Half of all Hispanic households in Philadelphia are cost-burdened, the highest share of any major racial or ethnic group, and a reflection, in part, of the city’s high poverty rate among Hispanics. By comparison, of those who do not identify as Hispanic, 46% of Black households and 32% of White households are cost-burdened.
- Fifty-four percent of the city’s renters are cost-burdened—compared with 28% of homeowners—and renters are making up an increasing share of Philadelphia’s housing market. Of the growth in occupied housing units in the city since 2009, three-quarters were rentals.
- Not surprisingly, being cost-burdened is least common among Philadelphia households that own their homes free and clear, without mortgages. But the number of low- and moderate-income homeowners who are mortgage-free has declined in the past decade.
Actions must be taken, and resources must be provided to help victims trapped in the cost-burden cycle. The model that Kevin Seawright developed for RPS Solutions LLC is doing just that.
Kevin Seawright: Committed to Economic Improvement in Philadelphia
Following his role as Chief Financial and Facilities Officer, Kevin Seawright served as a fiscal management leader in the educational arena, creating streamlined budgets measuring more than $200 million annually. Seawright also prioritized quality-constructed schools and other related infrastructure while managing more than $600 million in the development of new and the renovations of existing structures. He has long been dedicated to giving back to his community. By providing housing to first-time homeowners, Seawright has displayed an ongoing commitment to reduce economic disparities in Philadelphia communities.
In a recent interview, Seawright commented on the importance of giving back to his Philadelphia community by renovating and selling homes in the area. He stated, “This is extremely important. As children, we witnessed the lack of quality housing in our neighborhood. The thought process was, you must move to other counties to achieve quality living. It is our goal to use resources to break that trend and prove that quality homes are in this neighborhood.”
To do this, Seawright is fixated on improving homeownership quality for inner-city families. Historically speaking, low-income and minority families face significant barriers to sustainable homeownership, a substantial vehicle for building wealth and economic opportunity. Recognizing this barrier and the benefits of overcoming it, Seawright has directed his attention to four primary factors that influence inner-city economic development:
- The quality infrastructure of homes
- Supportive community programs
- Improving schools and resources for children
Seawright explained that “these four factors are paramount for individuals striving to support their families and have quality housing in neighborhoods.” In addition to providing economic assistance during acquisitions, Seawright also promotes supplementary programs to help keep homes affordable. These include down payment assistance programs, grants, subsidies, homeownership vouchers, and forgivable loans.
Dedicated to Building Strong Partnerships
To further impact the community, Seawright has identified partnerships that may aid in his mission. He reported, “We continue to strive for our community by partnerships with religious institutions, with holiday giveaways and support of sports programs. Our housing impact is just one piece of the puzzle. Our goal is to approach neighborhoods and families from a 360-degree approach. With quality housing and supportive programs, statistics will show more vibrant neighborhoods as a result.”
One partnership that has been most influential in getting locals into their first home has been RPS Solutions’ partnership with National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST). Announced September 5, 2017, the partnership was developed in hopes to “further its efforts to stabilize and revitalize Baltimore’s low- to moderate-income communities.”
NCST is a non-profit organization that works to rehabilitate vacant and abandoned properties throughout the United States. Its programs facilitate the restoration of homes, enable safe demolition when necessary, and support creative and productive re-use of vacant land. Since 2009, NCST has conveyed more than 23,000 properties to non-profit home buyers across the U.S.
This partnership with NCST falls under the non-profit’s Strategic Development Partner program. It has reduced the barrier of affordability for homebuyers while increasing the rate of homeownership. Their focus has been on obtaining REO properties before they are marketed to the public.
At the time of the announcement, Seawright exclaimed:
“We love this community and want everyone to develop their full potential. Our mission is to create a more diverse society where homeownership is achieved, and the community is healthy and thriving… We are thrilled to partner with NCST on this project… Our hope with this partnership is to boost the local economy, make houses more affordable, and increase the rate of homeownership in Baltimore following the NCST model.”
In April 2018, RPS Solutions LLC secured its first housing contract through its partnership with NCST. The property, located at 9112 Bengal Road, Randallstown, Maryland, was a 3-bedroom, 2-story property built-in 1960. Sitting on a 6,510 square foot lot, the property featured more than 2,000 square feet of living space built in a modern-retro design.
Previous Closing by RPS Solutions LLC
In addition to acquisitions via their partnership with NCST, RPS Solutions LLC has devoted its efforts to helping first-time homeowners close since 2014. Their long history of achievements displays an ongoing dedication to closing the wealth gap.
RPS Solutions LLC Help the Youth Become Homeowners
Jerel Brown, the son of Seawright’s longtime friend and co-worker from Baltimore City, was one of the team’s earliest clients. Due to the high cost of living in his community, Jerel was having trouble purchasing a home. He claimed, “it was really tough finding upgraded properties at a budget I could afford.” Seawright was motivated to help him and introduced Jerel to the idea of purchasing a renovated home in the Baltimore Metro area. Jerel reported, “I was ecstatic for the opportunity to own my first home and have it look like homes you witness in magazines.” In 2016, Jerel bought his first home. After closing, Seawright reported that he was “honored to be in the position to help a young person that worked very hard to achieve homeownership. It was extremely rewarding to support someone that I have mentored since a youth.”
RPS Solutions LLC Transitions Renters to Homeowners
In 2018, RPS Solutions LLC sold their renovated property – a beautiful home located at 1222 Dalton Rd. in Baltimore, Maryland – to Miss Bianca Thornton and her son Montrell. Built-in 1956, this 2-story, 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom colonial townhome, was located in the up and coming neighborhood of Hillandale. Thornton was a lifetime resident of Baltimore. With the help from RPS Solutions LLC, Maryland grant programs, and Maryland’s Division of Development Finance, also known as the Community Development Administration (CDA), Thornton escape the renters trap and become a first-time homeowner.
RPS Solutions LLC Promotes Local Aid Program to Ensure Closing
RPS Solutions LLC understands that many are not in the financial position to purchase a home. Hence, the team works with local organizations to reduce economic inequalities. In 2018, RPS Solutions LLC guided Tyra Hudgins through the home buying process while working in conjunction with the City of Baltimore. At the time, Hudgens did not have the finances to purchase the home; she applied for the Baltimore City Employees Assistance Grant, which covered part of her down-payment. Hudgens eventually purchased a 1,152 square foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath townhouse located at 5401 Bucknell Road, Baltimore, MD. Seawright, at the time, stated: “Assisting with her dream of homeownership was an honor to be a part of – for myself and for RPS Solutions LLC as well.”
Changing the Future
Historically, disparities have existed in access to homeownership by low-income and minority households. According to PD&R, homeownership rates were 43.8 percentage points below the rate for high-income households, leaving many of them trailing behind in wealth accumulation and hurting generations to come. The research identifies that “homeownership contributes to financial security and stability by offering homeowners protection from rising housing costs, increased savings and purchasing power, the ability to borrow against the equity of the home, and the opportunity to refinance at lower interest rates.”
Hopefully, with ongoing commitments by parties such as the team at RPS Solutions LLC, we can fight the economic inequality millions of Americans face today. Through their relentless efforts in developing effective partnerships and working with underserved members of the community, the team at RPS Solutions LLC have continued and will continue to accomplish their mission: “To create stable, vibrant and healthy communities by developing, and creating affordable, custom-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the resources to access quality, custom housing opportunities.”